Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm here!

Today sometime in the morning I arrived in Madrid!! I think I've been awake for like 30 hrs and I have no idea what time it is. However, it's dark outside. That helps.

We had a two hour layover in London/Heathrow. For breakfast, they served "salmon and soft cheese." Out of a sound sleep, I woke up, heard "salmon with soft cheese", and sort of freaked out because I got a mental image of melted cheese over a piece of grilled salmon for my breakfast. Sounds gross, doesn't it? It actually turned out to be an English muffin with salmon flavored cream cheese. Much better.

This picture (above) is of the engine of the plane. I took the pic while walking down the ladder to get off the plane. The turbulence on the flight was like three hours of a ride at Six Flags...ugh.

Palacio Real
When we arrived, we went to Hotel Regina en la Puerta del Sol. Sima and I got into a taxi and asked for the "Plaza del Sol" and the driver was pretty confused until he realized we meant "Puerta del Sol." We went touring with the group and wandered through the crowded, cobblestone streets in Madrid. We also saw the Palacio Real. Took lots of pictures. We also went to buy cell phones at a store called Vodafone. That's one of their fold services here. Their whole network was apparently down today, so we're all going back tomorrow.

This place rocks. No one plays drums/bucket-things on the sidewalks. Instead, they play the water glasses. Not kidding. It's like in Miss Congeniality. There are also accordion players on the sidewalks.

We have 3 guides. Two are students who went on these programs and have since graduated. They're really, really helpful. The other is a professor for one of the classes I want to take. I am hoping to sign up for Traducción a través del cine y del teatro, Historia de la cultura española, y Cervantes y Don Quijote. My alternate class is Novela española contemporánea, and my fourth class will be the internship at the Hospital Sanitas la Moraleja. I think we're going to visit the school, Instituto Internacional en España tomorrow.

Sima and I are roomies at the Hotel Regina. Before dinner, she nearly burned down our room...oops. We learned that it's a very, very bad idea to plug one voltage adapter into another voltage adapter and to plug a computer into both connected adaptors. Bad. Don't try it. We now have one melted adapter sitting on a shelf in the room.

Dinner was delicious!! We had a vegetable thing for the first course-spinach coated in a bread-ish wrapping with red/orange sauce and melted cheese. It was really good!!!!! Yes, Mom, I ate spinach that was not on a Lou Malnati's pizza. Our main course was a tortilla española - an egg thing with potato pieces inside. I ate the potatoes and apparently picked them out pretty well because I did not get sick from the eggs. Yay! Dessert, also delicious, was an unidentified melon. Kind of green, a bit of orange on the edges, and a dark outside.

After dinner, we went with the two student guides, our ayudantes, Lucia and Greta, back around Madrid. They showed us a bunch of tapas bars and stores. I think I might need to buy shorts. The temperature is in the 90s. I loooove this weather!

I'll write more later and hopefully upload some pictures soon.


P.S. I will probably write most of my blog in English rather than Spanish because my family won't be able to read it if it's in Spanish.

Maddie Beagle's picture!! Isn't she adorable?

To Mom/Dad/Marissa: Please say hi to Maddie Beagle for me. Make some popcorn for her and get her a puppicino at Starbucks. Thanks much. Oh - they have McDonalds here. It looks a bit different - I took pictures. Starbucks looks the same here.

Disclaimer: I didn't proofread any of this because I wanted to write down/type all my thoughts before my computer's battery ran out. No time for editing right now, sorry.


  1. Can't figure out how to edit a post, and don't wait to keep looking, so here are my additions:

    1. The National Ballet of Cuba is here doing Swan Lake (el Lago de los cisnes) until Sept. 20th!

    2. British Airways rocks. They give you 2 meals, a free pair of navy blue socks, and a mini-travel toothbrush with a tiny 1 mL vial of toothpaste inside the travel toothbrush. For the mere cost of a plane ticket to Spain, you get free socks!

    Ok, that's all.

  2. I will post the photos that I took at the airport! Loved reading your first entries!
    Love, Mom

  3. Hi Dana,
    It's awesome to hear from you, and thanks for the call when you arrived this morning. I was a bit nervous because the text messages you sent from London never arrived, so I was relieved when you called!!! And so was Sima's Dad when I called him and said both of you arrived safely in Madrid (since Sima's phone didn't work). Have a wonderful experience, soak it in, and enjoy the culture, language, and sightseeing.
    Love, Dad